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Lorain County's first medical marijuana dispensary opens (VIDEO)

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    Suzy Dohanos, of Elyria, was second in line at the Clubhouse Dispensary in Elyria, the first medical marijuana dispensary established in Lorain County, when it opened its doors Friday morning.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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    Customers line up outside the Clubhouse Dispensary on Sugar Lane in Elyria. The line of people were the first into the store on their first day in operation in Elyria on Friday.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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    Suzy Dohanos holds $35 worth of marijuana that she purchased at the Clubhouse Dispensary when it opened for business Friday.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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    The interior of the Clubhouse Dispensary, which opened for business Friday.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — More than a dozen people lined up Friday morning outside Clubhouse Dispensary to get their first legal prescription of medical marijuana.

The dispensary at 709 Sugar Lane in Elyria is the first to open in Lorain County. After months of planning and correspondence with city and state officials for permits and operation approval, the dispensary was ready for business.

Tyler Baker, 30, of North Ridgeville, was first in line, wearing a shirt with the logo of “ohiomarijuanacard.com,” a cannabis leaf inside the shape of Ohio. Baker showed up about 7:30 a.m., hours before the dispensary’s 10 a.m. opening schedule.

Baker has suffered from epilepsy for nearly a decade and it’s consumed every part of his life. Due to his condition, Baker can have seizures at any time and lost his driving privileges as a result. 

 

Baker has a wife and two kids and works for his family as a bartender’s assistant at Lone Tree Tavern in North Ridgeville. He hopes to gain more control of his condition to find a better job.

He admitted using marijuana for the past eight years and said as a result, his seizures lessened. After he started using marijuana, he maybe has one seizure every three months. He knew what he was doing was illegal, he said, but it was for his health.

“It’s a godsend that I can access it so close now and legally being able to get product that’s trusted,” he said. “Going to the street is so unreliable, and you don’t know what you’re getting.”

The dispensary took about seven people into the building at a time, determined after people signed in on the waiting list. The patients had to show their identification and a printed copy of their medical marijuana card they received from the state after getting a recommendation from a state-certified physician.

Once inside, about half of the group was allowed in the waiting room while bud tenders, or marijuana consultants, would accompany several patients into a viewing room where the stocked marijuana was kept.

Kayla Greenberg, general manager for the dispensary, said the dispensary isn’t fully stocked yet, but it will be soon. As of now, the only product on hand is from Akron cultivator Calyx Peak. It also is offering 20 percent off throughout the opening weekend.

Alternative marijuana products, including edible marijuana, topical ointment and vaping cartridges, aren’t in stock yet, either. Greenberg did showcase a dry vape called the G Pen Elite, which allows grinded marijuana into a small compartment to be superheated to create a dry vapor without producing smoke.

Another customer in line was Suzy Dohanos, 61, of Elyria, who was happy to receive her first legal prescription of marijuana. She bought the dry vape.

Dohanos survived a major fire in Elyria in 2009 in her home that left most of her body scarred, with burns to her face, chest, upper body and arms. In the years since the fire she has undergone skin grafts and surgeries and the pain never ends, she said.

Dohanos suffers from multiple qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, including post traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. She also admitted to using marijuana before and said the pain relief has done so much for her.

“I didn’t think I’d ever really live to see the day (marijuana was even partially legal),” she said.

The dispensary’s operation hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Only patients with state-certified medical marijuana cards can purchase marijuana from the dispensary. The 4,500-square-foot dispensary has a parking area and a single glass door for entering and exiting. The staff includes 20 to 25 employees including consultants, or “bud tenders,” full-time security, a general manager, an assistant manager, compliance officers and bookkeepers.

The property has a security system and number pad access module for its door. There are security cameras and motion sensors inside and outside the building. A security guard also will be at the front desk of the dispensary with a monitor of all camera feeds. At least one private security guard will be on duty during operating hours, but the dispensary can tighten security if it needs to, Greenberg said.

Baker came out with about a four-day supply of marijuana, which adds up to about

11.32 grams. Customers can buy up to 90 days worth of marijuana within 90 days. A single day’s worth of medical marijuana is specified as 2.83 grams.

The qualifying medical conditions that are allowed to be treated using medical marijuana are HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer’s disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS; cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE; Crohn’s disease; epilepsy or other seizure disorders; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain that is chronic and severe or intractable; Parkinson’s disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette’s syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis.

For more information or to find a certified doctor to recommend medical marijuana, visit www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov or call the toll-free helpline at (833) 464-6627, or by email at MMCPRegistry@pharmacy.ohio.gov.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.


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